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Monument details

HER Number:TR 03 SE 68
Type of record:Listed Building


Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1200 to 1899. A parish church built in the 13th century with additions in the 14th and 15th century, restored circa 1845. The church is of stone, with plain tile roofs.

Grid Reference:TR 0540 3135
Map Sheet:TR03SE

Monument Types

  • CHURCH (Medieval to Modern - 1200 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1278140: CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL

Full description

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Description from record TR 03 SE 1 :
[TR 05403135] Church [NAT]. (1) The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Newchurch. The chancel is C13th, the arcades of the nave C14th, and the tower C15th. (2) In normal use. (3) Parish church of St Peter and St Paul, Grade A. Chancel and nave are C13th, north and south chapels and aisles and the wide north porch C14th, tower C15th and the south porch early C19th. (For full description see list). (4) Parish church of St Peter and St Paul, Grade I. C13th, C14th and C15th; restored circa 1845. (For full description see list).(5) St Peter and St Paul. Quite large, of ragstone, but one of the few over-restored churches on Romney Marsh. It was restored c. 1845, all the tracery being renewed, and the east window added. The nave has four arcades, with octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. It has a wide south and north aisle, both continuing to form chapels at the east end which were in existence by the C13th. The windows display a good range of C13th tracery patterns favoured in Kent. (6) There is no trace of Norman work in this church, although Newchurch is mentioned in Domesday Book. Three lancet windows in the chancel, probably of C13th date are now the earliest features to be seen. (7) Newchurch Church was visited by the Kent Archaelogical Society. The church was restored c. 1847, and also this century. (8) Additional bibliography. (9)

This church has suffered from two heavy restorations in 1845 and 1909-15. Despite this, however, three main phases of work can be recognized: an early to mid-13th century chancel, an early to mid 14th century nave and aisles and a latter 15th century west tower.

The following text is from the original listed building designation:
3/82 Church of St. Peter and 9.6.59 St. Paul
Parish church. C13, C14 and C15, restored circa 1845. Stone, with plain tile roofs. West tower, continuous nave and chancel, continuous south aisle and chapel and continuous, broader, north aisle and chapel, chapels stopping short of east end. North and south porches: West tower: C15. Three stages on moulded plinth. Angle buttresses. Battlements above moulded gargoyled string. North-east stair turret, slightly taller, and battlemented. Belfry windows of 2 trefoil-headed lights, square-topped, with hoodmoulds. Single trefoil-headed light with square top and hoodmould to each side of middle stage. Pointed arched west window with rendered C19 intersecting tracery and C15 hoodmould. 2-centred arched moulded west doorway in square-topped architrave with casement moulding. Single shaft either side with bell capital and moulded base as springing for quatrefoiled spandrels. Moulded hoodmould with head to label stop. South aisle and chapel: aisle C14, chapel probably C14 on C13 site. Plinthless, with south-west and south-east angle buttresses and 2 south buttresses. Gabled. Small cusped ogee light with hoodmould to west. 3 south windows with C19 tracery in medieval styles. 3-light east window with cavetto mullions and possibly only the tracery renewed in C19. South porch: C19 with moulded 2-centred arched outer doorway. Inner doorway moulded, 2-centred arched with roll-and-fillet hoodmould and outward-turning scrolls. Chancel: C13. North-east and south-east angle buttresses. Gabled, with ridge lower than that of nave. Hollow-chamfered south lancet and 2 hollow-chamfered north lancets. Four-light C19 east window with trefoil- headed lights and sexfoils. North aisle and chapel: aisle C14, chapel probably C14 on a C13 site. Gabled, with north-east and north-west angle buttresses and 2 north buttresses. 3-light C19 east window with intersecting tracery. Four C19 north windows in a C14 style, that towards east within a medieval architrave. C19 west window. North porch: very broad, plain-tiled, with broad pointed-arched vault. No gate. Inner doorway moulded, pointed arched, with roll-and-fillet hoodmould and outward-turning scrolls. Projecting stone stoup to west of doorway. Interior: structure: 4-bay C14 nave arcade to north and south, stopping about 5 feet short of west end; pointed arches of 2 chamfered orders springing from octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases. Chancel arcade of single broad pointed chamfered arch to north and south springing from rectangular piers with nicked hollow-chamfered imposts and roll stops. Broad pointed chancel arch, bevelled, with roll stop, possibly C13. Tall C15 tower arch with 3 orders of hollow chamfers, that to centre springing from single attached column to either side with moulded capital and base. Pointed-arched doorway to tower stairs with hollow chamfer and broach stops. Rounded rood-loft stair arches squinted between east ends of north and south aisles and west end of chancel. Roof: 4 octagonal crown posts to nave with moulded capitals and bases on cambered double-chamfered tie-beams. Sous-laces, ashlar-pieces and moulded cornice. C19 boarding to chancel. North aisle and north chapel with common rafters, sous-laces, ashlar-pieces, moulded cornice and 4 moulded tie-beams. South aisle and chapel similar. Fittings: piscina in south wall of chancel with cinquefoiled ogee head and sexfoiled drain. Similar piscina to south chapel with plain drain. Projecting stone stoup to north chapel. C15 octagonal font on 2 octagonal stone steps, with buttressed stem and bowl with shields and roses. Fragmentary C15 screens between north and south aisles and chancels. C19 stall on south side of chancel with 3 bays of blind tracery, the outer 2 incorporating medieval work. Raised C18 panels bearing Creed, Decalogue and Lord's Prayer now serving as screen at west end of south aisle. Late C18 Benefactors' Board over south door. (J. Newman, Buildings of England Series, West Kent and the Weald, 1980). Listing NGR: TR0569530377 (11)

No trace is visible of an early nave, though there presumably was one under the present nave. Unusually, however, it appears to have been the same width as the chancel.

The 13th century chancel is characterized by its use of plain pointed arches with no mouldings and simple bar-stoped chamfers. The 13th century chancel arch survives as well as arches into the north and south chapels, showing that the chapels were already in existence by this date. The jambs are mainly of Rag with Caenstone abaci and plinth. On the north-east side of the chancel are two lancets with only one on the south-east. All have rere-arches, suggesting a later 13th century date. The east window was totally replaced in 1845. On the south-east side of the chancel is an ogeed trefoil-headed piscina with sunk chamfers (and grooves for a shelf).

In perhaps the very late 13th century, the south chapel and south aisle wall were rebuilt. Fine geometric tracery (with sexfoils in the heads) survive in the three-light east and south windows of the south chapel (perhaps that dedicated to St. Michael and St. Thomas Becket). The south aisle windows sadly only have Y-tracery in Roman cement (of 1845), but the hollow chamfer inside the heads of all the windows in the south chapel and aisle suggest that they are of the same date, as is probably the plain south doorway. There is also a single light ogeed trefoil at the west end of the south aisle, and a cinquefoiled piscina in the south chapel with ogeed top, and aumbry beyond it.

In the wide north aisle, by contrast, all the windows have flat chamfers on their internal arches, and except for the west window (with Roman cement Y-tracery), they have reticulated tracery in Caenstone. The north doorway is also contemporary, as are presumably the north and south arcades of the nave. They are both of four bays with octagonal columns with moulded capitals and bases and double flat chamfered arches. All this suggesting an early 14th century date. The north chapel (probably that dedicated to the Virgin Mary) has restored Geometric tracery in its 3-light east window and Roman cement Y-tracery in its north window. The use of rere-arches in both and north and east windows here may also, however, suggest a late 13th century date for the rebuilding of the chapel. However, it is likely that all the rebuilding of the chapels nave arcades and aisles took place continuously around 1300. There are also some unexplained cut-off corbels at the west end of the aisles.

The nave was re-roofed in the 15th century with a crown-post roof with moulded wall-plates and tie-beams, and the aisle and chapel roofs were perhaps done at the same time. However, they appear later to have had their crown-posts and collar-purlins removed. They are all now boarded on the outside. The chancel roof is now ceiled in with timber boarding and moulded ribs (also carved wooden bosses in the eastern boy). There are the remains of some moulded wall-plates in the aisles, with carved head-stops surviving in the south chapel.

The two porches may also have been added in the 15th century, but that on the south has been completely rebuilt. The north porch is most unusual with its pointed barrel-vault. It has a stoup in it, to the west of the doorway.

The west tower, with angle-buttresses and stair-turret on the north-east, was built in the later 15th century (wills perhaps suggest the 1470s). It has a hollow chamfered plinth, and a fine tower arch, and carved label stops to the square-headed west doorway. The 3-light window above now unfortunately only has double Y-tracery in Roman cement. The 1806 Petrie view shows ? Perpendicular tracery here. After the ground and first-floor stages of the tower were built, it settled considerably out of plumb, to the west. After a pause, however, when partial stability was reached, the top stage was built with two-light square-headed Perpendicular windows, for the belfry in all faces. Above this is a large moulded string-course with gargoyles at the western angles, surmounted by a crenellated parapet. The slightly higher turret top is also crenellated, and has a later weather vane.

There is also a fine octagonal font of the 15th century with concave faces to the bowl with roses and the symbols of Sts. Peter and Paul (Keys + Sword) on shields. The front is on an octagonal plinth.

Finally in the early 16th century a Roodscreen was made right across the church, and parts of the screen survive in situ in the aisles only (with tracery only on the north). The double doors are also contemporary with decorated spandreled tops. Passages were cut through to behind the chancel arch, but no screen survives across the chancel.

The `Wine Glass' pulpit with linen-fold panels and tester may be early 16th century also. The 1845 Restoration saw the eastern window tracery restored and Y-tracery inserted, while the 1909-15 restoration saw much external quoining repaired, and the south porch rebuilt. Also much snail-pointing. Dormer windows over the east end of the nave. (10)

<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.

<2> Kent 1935 229 (J C Cox) (OS Card Reference). SKE45679.

<3> F1 ASP 30-NOV-62 (OS Card Reference). SKE42360.

<4> DOE (HHR) Dist of Romney Marsh RD Kent June 1956 12 (OS Card Reference). SKE40311.

<5> DOE (HHR) Dist of Shepway Kent April 1985 41-42 (OS Card Reference). SKE40352.

<6> The Buildings of England West Kent and the Weald 1980 431 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE50236.

<7> Arch Cant 13 1880 459-466 (Scott Robertson) (OS Card Reference). SKE34701.

<8> Arch Cant 42 1930 259-260 (C D Lampen) (OS Card Reference). SKE35115.

<9> Field report for monument TR 03 SE 1 - November, 1962 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5104.

<10> Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown), 1986, 89, 94, Church Survey - St Peter and St Paul's Church, Newchurch. (Unpublished document). SKE7603.

<11> English Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Map). SKE16160.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: Kent 1935 229 (J C Cox).
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 30-NOV-62.
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE (HHR) Dist of Romney Marsh RD Kent June 1956 12.
<5>OS Card Reference: DOE (HHR) Dist of Shepway Kent April 1985 41-42.
<6>OS Card Reference: The Buildings of England West Kent and the Weald 1980 431 (J Newman).
<7>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 13 1880 459-466 (Scott Robertson).
<8>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 42 1930 259-260 (C D Lampen).
<9>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 03 SE 1 - November, 1962.
<10>Unpublished document: Diocese of Canterbury (Tim Tatton-Brown). 1986, 89, 94. Church Survey - St Peter and St Paul's Church, Newchurch..
<11>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #32492 Church, ]